4421 Tasting Notes

98

Backlog:

This is an AMAZING black tea. As I said in my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/28/nonpareil-yunnan-dian-hong-chinese-red-black-tea-teavivre/ this is one of those “memorable” type of black teas that I think every tea lover should try!

Thick, silky and full-flavored. Notes of dark, bittersweet chocolate with a caramel-y undertone. (Hey, you can’t go wrong with chocolate and caramel, can you?) There is also a rich, bake-y, cake-y like flavor to it, like a freshly baked loaf of bread. Mmm!

Malty. Very, very little astringency. If you’re someone who shies away at the mere mention of astringency, I think you’ll find this tea very much to your liking. This tea reminds me a lot of Dawn from the Simple Leaf. I miss that tea … but this one makes a suitable substitute for that extraordinary tea as this too is quite extraordinary!

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85

Backlog:

I wasn’t really sure what a sea buckthorn was until I did a little search on wiki about it. It’s a berry with lots of health benefits. But really, I didn’t order this Sea Buckthorn Matcha because of health benefits, I ordered it mostly out of curiosity. I didn’t think I’d ever encounter a sea buckthorn in the produce section of my local market, so I figured, hey … this is a chance to try something I probably won’t have the opportunity to try otherwise. Right?

It’s tart with notes of citrus-like flavor toward the finish. I described it in my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/27/sea-buckthorn-flavored-matcha-red-leaf-tea/ as a lemon, a lime, and a berry had a love child.

It’s a bright and flavorful Matcha, and I enjoyed it. My specs for this Matcha were the classic grade with distinctive level of flavoring. If I were to order this in the future, I’d probably go with the delicate flavoring because I think I’d want more Matcha taste in it.

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84
drank Lapsang Souchong by Steepster
4421 tasting notes

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I’m not a huge fan of overly smoky teas, and really, Lapsang Souchong is SMOKY. I can’t think of one that is smokier. I know that a lot of people out there dig that sort of thing, I just don’t. There was a time when I couldn’t stand it at all, I couldn’t even have Lapsang Souchong in my house because the smell was just so obtrusive and horrendous.

I have since come to learn the best ways for me to brew a Lapsang Souchong so that I can enjoy this tea. Not just be able to consume it without complaint … but actually enjoy it. I find that the key is to first “rinse” or reawaken the leaves for a 15 second brew, and then toss the brewed liquid and then start steeping. Steep for not longer than 3 minutes. And this usually produces a brew that is smoky, yes … but I’m no longer feeling like I’m drinking out of an ashtray. I even find myself enjoying the notes of smoke and the delicious caramel-y notes underneath that strong smoky presence.

And this one has a really lovely caramel-y note and I love how the caramel and the smoke meld together. It’s quite magical. Hearty and well-rounded. Not quite as hearty as I was expecting given the description of the tea, beyond that smoky note it’s not as robust as an Assam. It’s got a lighter body than my typical first cuppa for the day.

But the lighter body allows me to explore the layers of flavor. Notes of plum (like charred fruit!) and perhaps some nectarine. Notes of pine, woodsy and smoky.

Nice.

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80
drank Autumn Chai by Custom-Adagio Teas
4421 tasting notes

Backlog:

This one has a prominent apple scent. Amid all the other spices in this blend, I was happily surprised to notice such a strong apple presence.

I’m not really all that crazy about Adagio when it comes to their flavored black teas. It’s just a very harsh and funky black tea … I think that Adagio should rethink this base … but I’ve thought that for a long time. I have mentioned though, at least once or twice, that when the flavored black teas are used in the custom blends like this one, the harshness seems to be less prevalent. I’m not sure why that is.

The spices here are warm and inviting. The cinnamon is the strongest flavor but it doesn’t overpower the ginger, clove and cardamom. There is a lovely caramel note to the cup, and then I taste apple and a hint of orange. It’s a really nice interpretation of an “Autumn Chai.”

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88
drank Ti Kuan Yin by Ocean of Tea
4421 tasting notes

Backlog:

Beautiful green, tightly wound pellets that unfurl in my hot water … what could be more relaxing than watching a Ti Kuan Yin brew in my gaiwan? One of my favorite afternoon activities.

This Ti Kuan Yin from Ocean of Tea is absolutely lovely. Very flavorful, with beautiful creamy notes. I found myself surprised at how much flavor the first cup (infusions 1 and 2) offered, because it is usually the softest tasting cup. But for a delicate taste – there’s a whole lot of flavor in that cup! Sweet with notes of apricot, and creamy notes, floral notes.

Later infusions brought development of the aforementioned apricot, and the floral notes developed into an orchid-like flavor. Notes of vanilla! A soft and silky tea.

A really lovely Ti Kuan Yin! I recommend it.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/26/ti-kuan-yin-oolong-tea-ocean-tea/

Ubacat

That one sounds delicious. I’ve never heard of Ocean of Tea. I’ll have to check them out.

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89
drank Gray by Labrang Tea Traders
4421 tasting notes

Backlog:

I bought a tin of this at my local Chuck’s Produce. Hey, it was an Earl Grey I hadn’t yet tried. My interest was piqued. Yeah. That’s usually all it takes. I’m kind of a Earl Grey groupie.

It has a strong Bergamot aroma – I like that in an Earl Grey. The flavor is bright and acidic, citrus-y, tangy, deliciously bergamot-y. The tea flavors smooth out some of the edge of the bergamot. A really flavorful, rich tasting tea.

The tea has notes of malt, and it’s bold and well-rounded. I’m very satisfied with this Earl Grey.

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86

Backlog:

I’m a genmaicha fan … I love the roasty-toasty flavor. Sweet, nutty and just YUM.

This one from Simple Loose Leaf is a very good gen mai cha. It’s exactly what I expect from a genmaicha: sweet and satisfying. A nice afternoon cuppa! I receive the monthly Selection Club service and I love it, and I was really happy that this tea was part of April’s box. (sigh! Yes, I’m that far behind.)

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85

Backlog:

OK, I’ve been slacking off again and now I’m really, really behind. (I’m imagining Sil is smiling.)

This is really yummy. Very fruity, banana and passion fruit work very well together. The Shou Mei is delicate but it doesn’t allow itself to be overpowered by the fruit notes. Soft, a little earthy and a little bit creamy, and these notes meld together with the fruit notes in a very pleasing way.

It’s almost smoothie-like.

Sil

Hahaha I totally was :)

LiberTEAS

I figured as much.

Sil

i miss your notes when you’re gone~

LiberTEAS

Aww … thanks. I do check in daily, I just … get lazy and don’t post. I then justify my laziness by saying I’m too busy.

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70
drank SBT: Maple Bacon by 52teas
4421 tasting notes

When I got my huge package from Zoomdweebies after the first of the Kickstarter campaigns, I got two packages of SBT Maple Bacon since this tea was in the 12 Days of Christmas package too. The first time I steeped it for the 12 Days of Christmas review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/12/29/fifth-day-christmas-southern-boy-teas-edition/ and I wasn’t all that crazy about it. It just didn’t work for me.

So that’s why it took me so long to finally brew this additional sachet. I knew I wasn’t gung-ho about it. This time, I cold-brewed the tea, and this worked WONDERS! This is actually quite good. I will actually up my rating from 51 up to 70 because as a cold-brewed tea, this works great. I’ll even try hot-steeping the bag now that it’s been cold brewed once … maybe it will be good. Let’s hope!

Anyway … not so much of a strong bacon flavor as a maple flavor. I get a good, brisk black tea flavor, smooth and flavorful, and a hint of bacon-y goodness. This is much better cold-brewed. COLD BREW THIS ONE!

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85
drank Bali Bamboo Leaf by wise owl tea
4421 tasting notes

Backlog:

As I mentioned in my full-length review of this tea: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/24/bali-bamboo-leaf-tisane-wise-owl-tea/ I haven’t had the opportunity to try a lot of bamboo teas. But I really liked this one.

I was surprised at how much it tasted like green tea! It was a little sweeter than a typical green tea, with no astringency and no bitterness.

There is a slight buttery taste to it (another factor that made me think “green tea”) and a vegetal taste that falls somewhere between steamed veggies and sweet grass. It almost tastes like a Chinese sencha. But because it has no caffeine, this would make a suitable substitute for those who can’t have caffeine and miss that green tea flavor.

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Profile

Bio

I am obsessed with tea!

I am a co-founder of the SororiTEA Sisters:
http://sororiteasisters.com

I also review teas for the Tea Review Blog:
http://www.teareviewblog.com

In addition to my passion for tea, I am also a mixed media/altered arts artist. You can see some of my art here: http://eccentricpastiche.blogspot.com

I am also a self-proclaimed foodie. I review local restaurants and the food I buy online here: http://hungryinportland.wordpress.com

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My favorite teas are Yellow Teas with most Oolong teas at a close second. As far as “flavored” teas go, I love Earl Grey, Chocolate and Jasmine teas.

I also am intrigued by flavored teas with an unusual or unique flavor combination.

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I don’t do a whole lot of swaps anymore, however, I do occasionally sell sampler boxes here: http://liberteas.teatra.de/ I don’t always have sampler boxes available as it depends upon how much time I have as well as packaging supplies. I usually post at least one or two sampler boxes per month, though, so if you’re interested, keep an eye out or PM me and I’ll let you know when I have some posted.

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Most of the teas that I record in my notes here are going to have a fairly high rating from me. This is not because I am not discerning, but because I do not usually waste my time on drinking tea I do not care for, nor will I waste my time on writing about it.

Location

Vancouver, WA

Website

http://SororiTeaSisters.com

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